Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green, a still-practicing doctor who has helped lead the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, shared Friday that he has tested positive.
“Found out tonight one of the members of my staff, our security detail, he and his wife ended up positive,” Green told NBC affiliate KHNL in Honolulu. “Best we can guess is that I caught it from one of them, and might not have even been tested had I not found out they were positive.”
Meanwhile, the pandemic is leading universities to continue to fight outbreaks, with Iowa State reversing an earlier plan to allow 25,000 fans into its stadium for Saturday’s football game.
In Hawaii, all 14 members of the lieutenant governor’s staff are now self-isolating and getting tested for coronavirus. Kohala Hospital, a rural 28-bed medical facility on the island of Hawaii, said Green worked shifts there last week, and that it is testing all employees who came in contact with him.
“Just please everybody be thoughtful about who you’re around and how quickly you can spread disease. I’m 50 years old and pretty strong and healthy, but it’s a worry. The mortality rate is 1 percent,” Green said. “That means it’s very real.”
Hawaii is one of 15 states that has seen a slight decrease in the number of cases in the past 14 days, while 21 other states have seen an uptick over the same period, according to an NBC News analysis.
But in Hawaii and 11 other states. the number of deaths related to COVID-19 rose over the previous two weeks.
Twenty-nine states have reported a decrease in deaths, the analysis found.
New York, for example, the state hardest hit by the virus early on marked its 36th straight day with an infection rate below 1 percent. The state reported Saturday a total of two deaths, with none in New York City.
The state, which has led the country in testing, performed nearly 103,000 tests on Friday, a new record.
“The more testing you do, the more accurate a picture of the virus’ spread you have,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement on Saturday. “Yesterday’s record-high number of tests helps the state make informed decisions to protect the welfare of New Yorkers, and helps them make informed decisions for themselves.”
For many states, the spread of coronavirus at colleges and universities remains a concern, including with the recent resumption of college football.
Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa, banned tailgating at its football games and after saying earlier it would allow 25,000 fans in its 60,000-person stadium last week, the school announced no fans would be allowed in the stands.
The campus appeared eerily quiet on Saturday morning as players geared up for its home game against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Jamie Pollard, the Iowa State athletics director, blamed students’ partying and disgruntled faculty members for the reversal, though he noted that the positive test rate had increased from 3 percent in the first two weeks of classes to 28 percent in the fourth week.
“We’ve been lockstep with the university all the way,” Pollard told the Cyclone Fanatic podcast. “But as I reflect upon what went down the last two weeks, probably the most frustrated and disappointed I’ve ever been at Iowa State.”
At Miami University in Ohio, where more than 1,000 students have tested positive for the virus, police this week cited six students after they went to a party last weekend where attendees failed to wear masks or socially distance, breaking a city ordinance.
Police body-camera footage showed one student telling officers that he had tested positive for coronavirus a week prior and claiming that everyone at the party had tested positive for the disease.
After the unidentified officer told the student he should be quarantining, the officer is heard sighing.
“This is what we’re trying to prevent, you know? We want to keep this town open,” the officer says in the video. “You’re not quarantining if you’re mixing with other people.”